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Castelgiocondo Brunello di Montalcino 1999

Sangiovese from Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy
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    Winemaker Notes

    Opaque ruby with dark garnet hues. Intense aromas of incense, nutmeg and cinnamon lead to flavors of blackberry, chocolate, espresso and vanilla. Densely structured, with palate-coating gauzy tannins and a decidedly mineral edge to the finish. Though it lacks the excitement of the best wines of the vintage, this is a fine offering from Frescobaldi Montalcino estate.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Castelgiocondo

    Castelgiocondo

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    Castelgiocondo, Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy
    Constructed in 1100 to guard the road from the port at Talamone to Siena, the castle has belonged to the Frescobaldi family since 1989. Already one of the top-quality producers of Brunello di Montalcino in the late 19th century, the tenuta of Castelgiocondo yields massively-structured wines of great complexity and balance.

    The estate lies on the southwestern slope of Montalcino, at elevations ranging from 180 to 400 metres, and comprises 815 hectares. The soils, given their various elevations, are diverse, and the climate is warm and dry, relieved by marine breezes: these are ideal conditions for producing very full-bodied, sturdily-structured and powerful wines that are, at the same time, characterised by remarkable finesse and balance. The wines produced at the Castel Giocondo estate are Castelgiocondo Brunello di Montalcino Riserva DOCG, Castelgiocondo Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Campo ai Sassi Rosso di Montalcino DOC, and Lamaione IGT.

    Montalcino

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    Famous for its bold, layered and long-lived red, Brunello di Montalcino, the town of Montalcino is about 70 miles south of Florence, and has a warmer and drier climate than that of its neighbor, Chianti. The Sangiovese grape is king here, as it is in Chianti, but Montalcino has its own clone called Brunello.

    The Brunello vineyards of Montalcino blanket the rolling hills surrounding the village and fan out at various elevations, creating the potential for Brunello wines expressing different styles. From the valleys, where deeper deposits of clay are found, come wines typically bolder, more concentrated and rich in opulent black fruit. The hillside vineyards produce wines more concentrated in red fruits and floral aromas; these sites reach up to over 1,600 feet and have shallow soils of rocks and shale.

    Brunello di Montalcino by law must be aged a minimum of four years, including two years in barrel before realease and once released, typically needs more time in bottle for its drinking potential to be fully reached. The good news is that Montalcino makes a “baby brother” version. The wines called Rosso di Montalcino are often made from younger vines, aged for about a year before release, offer extraordinary values and are ready to drink young.

    Sangiovese

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    The perfect intersection of bright red fruit and savory earthiness, Sangiovese is among Itaaly's elite red grape varieties and is responsible for the best red wines of Tuscany. While it is best known as the chief component of Chianti, it is also the main grape in Vino Nobile di Montepulciano and reaches the height of its power and intensity in the complex, long-lived Brunello di Montalcino

    Elsewhere throughout Italy, Sangiovese plays an important role in many easy-drinking, value-driven red blends and on the French island of Corsica, under the name Nielluccio, it produces excellent bright and refreshing red and rosé wines with a personality of their own. Sangiovese has also enjoyed success growing in California and Washington.

    In the Glass

    Sangiovese is a medium-bodied red with qualities of tart cherry, plum, sun dried tomato, fresh tobacco and herbs. High-quality, well-aged examples can take on tertiary notes of smoke, leather, game, potpourri and dried fruit. Corsican Nielluccio is distinguished by a subtle perfume of dried flowers.

    Perfect Pairings

    Sangiovese is the ultimate pizza and pasta red—its high acidity, moderate alcohol, and fine-grained tannins create a perfect symbiosis with tomato-based dishes, braised vegetables, roasted and cured meat, hard cheese and anything off the barbecue.

    Sommelier Secret

    Although it is the star variety of Tuscany, cult-classic “Super-Tuscan” wines may actually contain no Sangiovese at all! Since the 1970s, local winemakers have been producing big, bold wines as a blend of one or more of several international varieties—usually Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot or Syrah—with or without Sangiovese.

    HEI586428_1999 Item# 80173